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Fallen Soldier, a Los Al High Grad, to be Honored Thursday

A Hero Mission at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base is set for Oct. 25 to honor Army Ranger Sgt. Thomas R. Macpherson, 26, a Long Beach native, who died in Afghanistan.

Hundreds are expected to line the army airfield and the streets of Los Alamitos Thursday to pay respects to a Los Alamitos High School grad killed in Afghanistan.

Army Ranger Sgt. Thomas R. MacPherson’s remains will be returned to his family during a solemn Hero Mission at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. MacPherson was killed in Afghanistan Oct. 12. He leaves behind a wife and son and his parents in Long Beach.

During the Hero Mission MacPherson’s coffin will be flown in, landing at the Los Alamitos airfield where a Color Guard, family, friends and members of the community will gather to receive his flag-draped coffin. With permission from his family, MacPherson’s Hero Mission will be open to the public to give the community an opportunity to pay their respects.

According to Laura Herzog of the nonprofit Honoring the Fallen, MacPherson’s plane will land at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. Supporters should arrive by 10:45 a.m. to park and line the airfield. For those who can’t attend the brief ceremony, Herzog is asking residents, schools or businesses along Lexington Drive at 12:15 p.m. to line the street and carry flags as the funeral procession makes its way to Forest Lawn in the moments after the coffin arrives. It’s an opportunity for the community to honor the MacPherson family’s sacrifice, said Herzog.

“It’s very meaningful for the family to see that their son honored,” said Herzog.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m.  Oct. 26 at Cottonwood Church at 4505 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720.

MacPherson, 26, was killed by small arms fire in the Ghazni Province in Afghanistan as he led an assault against an enemy position, U.S. Army officials said.

MacPherson was a team leader assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. This was his fourth deployment to Afghanistan and he had also previously served one deployment in Iraq.

MacPherson is survived by his wife, Claudia MacPherson, and their son, Brayden, of Tacoma, Wash., and his parents, Troy and Diona MacPherson of Long Beach.

Moma Peney October 24, 2012 at 07:47 AM
This is NOT the platform to voice your opinions! A family has lost their loved one! Please show respect and positive uplifting thoughts only! God bless our Defenders of America's freedoms! I stand proud in spirit to honor this Hero and his family.
bonnie seale October 25, 2012 at 01:35 AM
rahab sista...out of respect for the family i will save my comments to you until after the services tomorrow... signed proud to be AMERICAN and the proud daughter and wife of "RETIRED MILITARY MEN!"
SSG Cliff Rodgers October 26, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Rahab Sista, Hoew dare you use this forum to spew your own agenda. Doug is right while you have the right to say what you want you need to have respect for the family of this courageous soldier. he chose to do a job that many WILL not do to protect your freedoms and those of the the Afghan people. It never ceases to amaze me that the people who exercise "Their rights" are those who would never lift a hand to defend them. People like you make me sick to think I have defended your right to be insensitive and uncaring of others. Do us all a favor an crawl back under the rock you climbed out from. Cliff
SSG Cliff Rodgers October 26, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Bonnie, You are correct. I should have waited as well, but you see I am stationed at the Joint Forces Training Base and work there as a Blackhawk mechaninc. My comrades and I have stood side by side on our flight line each time a Fallen Hero returns home to salute him or her we have heard and felt each tear shed by the families as they greet their Hero. I can not stand to witness such disrespect by such truly uninformed people. My apologies to the family and everyone else here. Cliff
Karen Sumpter October 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Tommy, you are loved and will be missed. Your little boy is the image of you at that age. Your wife vowed to kiss him every night like you asked her to before you deployed this last time. Your mom and dad has a light in their life that has gone out, and I pray that they will eventually know some level of comfort in their lives down the road. Your son is your legacy, your parents are finding comfort in him. They kiss you through him, they hug you through him. God Bless you Tommy. It is your time to rest, we'll take it from here.

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